POPKOV V.D., POPKOVA E.A. Russian-Speaking Groups in Germany: Motivation for Migration

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.1.19 

Viacheslav D. Popkov

Doctor of Sciences (Sociology), Doctor of Philosophy (Technische Universität Berlin), Director,

Institute of Social Researches and Analytics,

Nikitina St., 40/49-5, 248003 Kaluga, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4531-0358 

Ekaterina A. Popkova

Candidate of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor,

Bauman Moscow State Technical University Kaluga Branch (National Research University),

Bazhenova St., 2, 248000 Kaluga, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8734-8330 


Abstract. Introduction. The article considers motivation for migration of Russian-speaking groups who came to Germany from the territory of the former USSR countries. The article focuses on the analysis of ethnically privileged migrant groups – late migrants (Russian Germans) and quota refugees (Russian Jews) who came to Germany in the period of the late 1980s to mid-2000s. The aim of the research is to reveal the main reasons for and motives of the Russian-speaking group migration from the post-Soviet republics. The authors focus on the migration motives which have not been fully described, shown or analyzed in foreign research works, thus, enabling the readers to broaden their view on the migration of Russian-speaking groups to Germany.

Methods. The research is based on qualitative methodology using the method of thematically-centered interview. The selection was done by the “snowball” method.

Analysis. The authors carried out a comparative analysis of several research works with the results of the project conducted with Russian-speaking groups in Munich in 2005–2006 and 2011. The analyzed basis makes 43 interviews. The paper discusses the most questionable aspects regarding the ascertainment of the motivations of Russian Germans and Russian Jews for moving to Germany; it also compares the groups and reveals common features of migratory background characteristics to both of them. The paper gives special attention to ethnic motivations of migration which turn to be both pushing and pulling factors for both Russian-speaking groups. It also compares interpretations of significance of ethnicity and ethnic discrimination being the reasons for migration of Russian Germans and Russian Jews in the research works analyzed here.

Results. The hypothesis is that after the USSR split ethnic discrimination of both groups may be considered on the basis of “wrong” ethnicity in the countries of exodus. The conclusion is drawn that discrimination on ethnic basis cannot be the main reason for migration of Russian Germans and Russian Jews to Germany. It is more probable that in the case of Russian-speaking groups we deal with “drifting” ethnicity which may be suggested to or imposed on individuals. The data presented in the article may be of great interest for improving the state policy of this country towards compatriots from abroad and working out migratory regulations.

Key words: migration reasons, “drifting” ethnicity, Russian-speaking groups, Germany, Russia, Russian Germans, Russian Jews, comparative analysis.

Citation. Popkov V.D., Popkova E.A. Russian-Speaking Groups in Germany: Motivation for Migration. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2020, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 229-240. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.1.19.

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Russian-Speaking Groups in Germany: Motivation for Migration by Popkov V.D., Popkova E.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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